Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
REDLANDS, Calif. – Five Poets recorded double-digit scoring efforts Monday night as the Whittier College Men's Basketball team pulled off a huge road win 91-88 over the University of Redlands inside of Currier Gym.
Whittier remains perfect on the road within Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play as they improve to 5-9, 3-2 SCIAC and sit in a tie for 4th place within the SCIAC Standings.
Redlands had their biggest lead of the game within the first eight minutes knocking down six of their first eight shots, eventually going 9-of-12 from the field from seven different players to go on top 27-15.
Joey Toyama (Pasadena, Calif.) responded with a three-pointer on the Poets next possession that stopped the run but over the next two minutes both teams would go scoreless, until Whittier was able to continue the run with a layup and jumper from Eric Davis (Ventura, Calif.) followed by a layin from Nick Potthoff (Phoenix, AZ) that deadlocked the game at 27-27.
Redlands went back on top with five unanswered soon after but on WC's next possession sophomore Ryan Henry (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) would come up big being fouled on a three-point attempt, converting the bucket and the ensuing free throw that cut the deficit to four. But over the final 6:00 minutes UR was able to finish the half on a 13-6 run that gave them a 47-43 advantage at the break.
The second half was big for the Poets as they outscored the Bulldogs 48-41, shooting 50% from the field with Davis and Louis Kurihara (Culver City, Calif.) adding 13 and 12 points, each respectively. The score was 67-59 in favor of the Bulldogs with 12:39 to play but that lead soon evaporated as WC outscored the Maroon and Grey 17-8 to go on top 76-75. A back-and-forth battled ensued over the next six minutes with UR regaining the lead back at 86-85. Then over the final two-minutes the Poets made their final push with Davis knocking down a jumper followed by four free throws down the stretch from Victor Nwaba (Los Angeles, Calif.), Kurihara, and Toyama, which proved the difference as Redlands couldn't get anything to fall.
Davis led the Poets with 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting with eight boards. Kurihara finished with 18 points on 5-of-10 shooting with six boards and was joined by Nwaba and Toyama who each added 16 and 13 points, each respectively. Toyama also added seven assists in 27 minutes of action off the bench and Nwaba chipped in with eight boards, two assists, and two steals.
Whittier shot 46% from the field and was at a 31% clip from behind the arc. They also outrebounded the Bulldogs 44-39 and forced 13 turnovers, which led to 18 points.
Whittier returns home tomorrow, Wednesday, January 10 when they host Chapman University with tip-off set for 7:00pm.